BURN PILE: Welcome to title-land!


  • This land is "land" land: Following the announcement of the Man Booker Prize shortlist—NoViolet Bulawayo, Eleanor Catton, Jim Crace, Ruth Ozeki, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Colm Toibin—Alex Williams writes in the New York Times that Lahiri's book, The Lowlandmay be the more fashionably titled of the nominees: "Joyland by Stephen King. Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld. Fairyland by Alysia Abbott. Jungleland by Christopher S. Stewart. Motherland by Amy Sohn. Even the world of publishing, it seems, is not immune to the whims of fashion." Fashions must pass, of course; remember when every third band had "wolf" in its name?
  • Agree, or disagree? "Writers’ lives seem interesting after the fact because writers have irradiated and transformed their own experience. But there is nothing intrinsically interesting about them." At The American Scholar, Phyllis Rose seeks the "mystery at the heart of all literary biography."


  • The 40/40 club: As CutBank approaches its fourth decade, we'd like to spotlight a book that recently reached the big 4-0. Natasha Vargas-Cooper revisits Fear of Flying at Bookforum, in an essay sure to please pun-lovers with its title: "The Jong and the Restless."